Commercial delivery trucks account for about 58 percent of all miles driven by commercial vehicles, according to the Federal Highway Administration. There are nearly 2 million semi-trucks in operation in the U.S., and around 5.6 million semi-trailers. Most are driven by hard workers with good intentions to keep American pantries and refrigerators full during this uncertain time.
However, with the increased demand for supplies and groceries, some truckers are continuing to cut corners, leaving the lives of Americans at risk from more than COVID-19. If you are involved in an accident with one of these drivers, you will benefit from meeting with a seasoned California truck accident lawyer.
COVID-19 in California
The presence of COVID-19 in California is palpable. Californians are ordered by the government to stay at home unless they are getting food and essentials, seeing a healthcare provider, or going to an essential job. Those that do go out are mandated to keep a six-foot distance from anyone that does not live in their home. The California National Guard is currently deployed to help food banks. Individuals experiencing homelessness are being housed in secured travel trailers and hotels.
President Trump issued a Major Disaster Declaration, giving more funding to the state to deal with this unprecedented crisis. Governor Newsom issued an executive order that authorizes local governments to stop evictions for renters and homeowners, slows foreclosures, and protects against utility shutoffs for Californians impacted by COVID-19. California taxpayers have a 90-day extension to file their state taxes.
As of March 24, 2020, there were over 2,500 cases of Coronavirus and a total of 53 deaths in this state. Approximately 66,800 people have been tested for this deadly virus. Of these positive cases, 707 were community-acquired, over 1,800 were person-to-person transmission, travel (including those who have traveled on cruise ships recently), repatriation, or are still under investigation. These include 35 healthcare workers.
Ages of confirmed cases are as follows:
- Age 0-17: 37 cases
- Age 18-49: 1,278 cases
- Age 50-64: 638 cases
- Age 65+: 562 cases
- Unknown: 20 cases
Gender of all confirmed positive cases is as follows:
- Female: 1,117 cases
- Male: 1,389 cases
- Unknown: 29 cases
How COVID-19 Is Affecting the Trucking Industry
Many Americans have been shocked by the demand for groceries and household essentials that has been brought on by COVID-19. Instacart, Shipt, Amazon, Walmart, and many other similar businesses are facing a steep and sudden increase in the demand for delivery services. Those who previously enjoyed two-hour grocery delivery can now add that to the list of luxuries that have ceased to exist in light of the current crisis.
Now getting a two or three day wait time for online grocery delivery is akin to winning a scratch game or even the lottery. For customers who are lucky enough to even find delivery as an option for having groceries delivered, they can expect to wait much longer than ever before. Several days for delivery is now the norm. As such, Amazon intends to hire 100,000 warehouse and delivery workers. Instacart wants to hire 300,000 new shoppers over the next 90 days, which would more than double its current shopper base. Walmart announced plans to add an additional 150,000 employees.
Recent California Truck Accidents of Note
You may think that these accidents rarely happen or will never happen to you. Truck drivers and victims of the following truck crashes most likely thought the same.
- March 17, 2020 – A West Sacramento road was entirely shut down for several hours due to this big rig rollover accident.
- March 15, 2020 – The California Highway Patrol (CHP) reported an injury collision involving several vehicles, including at least one semi-truck full of cargo. This crash caused significant injuries and involved multiple vehicles entering the Antler Bridge over Lake Shasta, who spun out, most likely due to icy road conditions. No life-threatening injuries were sustained, and the crash is still under investigation by the CHP.
- March 5, 2020 – The driver of a milk tanker truck lost control of his vehicle and crashed into seven parked vehicles on a street in Arcadia early in the morning. Thankfully, no injuries were reported.
- February 18, 2020 – This big rig crash involved a passenger vehicle and injured two people. The driver of the passenger vehicle required extrication from their vehicle and suffered what police reported to be moderate physical trauma.
Whether your truck accident involved a semi-truck or a delivery truck, a California truck accident lawyer from Arash Law can evaluate your case and provide you with the next steps you should take.
What to Do if You are Hurt in a Truck Accident?
If you are injured in a truck accident, what you do immediately following and over the next several months can have a tremendous impact on your physical and financial recovery. Consider the following dos and don’ts after sustaining injuries in a truck accident:
Get Medical Care
Getting medical attention should be your immediate priority, whether you are taken via ambulance to your local hospital, go to a nearby urgent care the next day, or schedule an appointment with your own physician. Not only does this impact your physical health going forward, but it also documents your injuries making the odds better that your injury claim will be successful.
If your doctor or other healthcare team member recommend specific tests, follow up or ongoing care or therapies, be sure to obey their instructions. Not doing so not only harms your physical health, but it can be of detriment to your case as it shows a lack of willingness to get better on your part and makes the insurance company question your injuries, to begin with.
Hire a Well-Versed California Truck Accident Lawyer
Just as you visit a doctor to help you with your physical recovery, you will want to see a California truck accident lawyer to help with your financial and legal recovery after a delivery truck accident. It is imperative that you meet with a California truck accident attorney as soon as possible after your injuries so that you can ensure you are taking the right steps and avoiding the wrong ones. If you have a valid claim, your attorney can go to work immediately, investigating your accident and crafting a demand letter. If needed, your California truck accident attorney will negotiate a settlement or litigate your case on your behalf.
Refrain from Social Media Use
Although social media platforms like Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook are ideal ways to stay in touch with friends, family, colleagues, and coworkers near and far (especially in the COVID-19 era), posting to them can make your case more challenging to prove. You will want to discuss your social media use with your California truck accident lawyer to learn how it can harm your case and determine what actions you should or shouldn’t take on these platforms.
At the very least, do not post about or discuss your accident or injuries. Your legal counsel may advise you that it is best o deactivate your account for the duration of your case as investigators working for the defense can and will take anything they find and use it against you. For example, they may find you post vacation pictures from two summers ago, but assume they were taken while you were injured. Or perhaps you commented wishing you could take some time off of work; they will take every opportunity to twist your words and use them to your advantage.
Keep an Accident/Injury Diary
Recovering from an injury can be quite overwhelming. Your days may blend together, and you may forget some important details. Grab a notebook or start an online journal to document your life after the accident. You will want to include things like:
- Your pain and suffering
- How your injury has impacted your everyday routine or kept you from doing things you enjoy
- The time you miss at work, either because you physically cannot work or are getting much-needed medical attention and care
- Your detailed account of the accident
This journal will provide you and your California truck accident attorney with valuable evidence to help your case long after your memories have faded.
Truck Accidents Can Cause Serious Injuries
Both delivery trucks and semi-trucks are known for causing severe injuries. These vehicles weigh more and are taller than most other vehicles on the road. Their center of gravity is higher, making accidents more likely.
The repercussions of a truck accident can stick with a person for life, making it critical that you receive the money you need to handle your current and future medical and life care expenses. When you hire a skilled California truck accident attorney, you increase your chances of doing this. Common serious injuries that victims sustain in these types of accidents include:
- Back and neck injuries: Fragile bones and ligaments in your neck and back are highly susceptible to injury. These injuries may not appear immediately.
- Spinal cord injuries: An injury of this magnitude could leave you paralyzed permanently or temporarily. Either way, you may require months or years of treatments, physical therapies, surgery, adaptive devices, and medications.
- Head and brain injuries: You could have a small bruise or laceration or a more serious concussion or a traumatic brain injury with far-reaching and long-lasting effects.
- Burns: Large trucks have an increased risk of fuel tank ruptures when there is an accident, leading to an increased risk of burns for victims in an accident. These burns are terribly painful and oftentimes disfiguring.
- Amputation or disfigurement: Crushing injuries and severe burns, as well as other types of injuries, can lead to the need for limb amputation or cause disfigurement. You may need continued medical treatment and even a prosthetic device in order to function in your day-to-day activities.
- Internal injuries: The force of an airbag can cause blunt abdominal trauma to your bladder, spleen, liver, pancreas, kidneys, heart, or lungs.
No matter what type of injuries you sustain in a truck accident, you need the services of a reliable California truck accident lawyer who will work tirelessly to get you the compensation you need to recover to the best of your ability.
Call Us Today to Schedule a Consultation with a California Truck Accident Lawyer
If you are suffering injuries from a big rig or delivery truck accident, get in touch with our team as soon as possible to schedule a meeting with an experienced California truck accident lawyer. Your time to file a claim is limited under California law.
Our dedicated lawyers have recovered over 200 million dollars for injured individuals just like you. We have decades of experience representing truck accident victims in San Francisco, Riverside, San Jose, San Diego, Sacramento, Sherman Oaks, and throughout California. Contact Arash Law today by phone (888) 488-1391 or online to receive your free case consultation with an experienced California truck accident attorney from our firm.